With mass shootings becoming an unfortunate yet often occurrence around the country, it is clear that the general public has been put on high alert in regards to the potential of violent attacks in their communities. This high alert, albeit something that could be avoided with commonsense gun laws, has been beneficial in thwarting further onset of shooters around the country, as ordinary citizens remain vigilant for suspicious behaviors.
The most recent example of this can be seen in the thwarting of a potential mass shooting at Syracuse University, as a Chinese student who was here on an education visa was found to be stockpiling ammunition and accessories at his apartment located off the school campus, and was in the process to attempt to purchase firearms. The student, 22-year old Xiaoteng Zhan, was ultimately deported back to China when authorities were able to gather enough insight and evidence to prove potentially violent intentions, which started from the vigilance of a gun store owner near the university.
Police were able to thwart another potential mass shooting, this time the attack was aimed at #SyracuseUniversity. One gun shop owner denied the possible shooter an #AR15, despite having all the legal rights to purchase 1 and called police. https://t.co/ow1q5wUd8b
— J.Doyle (@sibersong) April 6, 2018
According to an article on Syracuse.com:
‘It all started with a tip March 12 from The Gun Store, in Nelson, which said Zhan wanted to buy an AR-15 assault rifle — the weapon of choice in many recent mass shootings.
The owner called police, noting that Zhan was not a U.S. citizen but was here legally on a student visa. Zhan had a valid hunting license — which he picked up the day before — which allowed him to possess a gun as a non-citizen, McGork said. Zhan had taken gun safety courses in Verona.’
However, after picking up a feeling of suspicion as to Zhan’s intentions for wanting to purchase firearms, the store owner not only refused to sell the guns to Zhan, but further followed him to the parking lot in order to copy down his license plate number. Although authorities did not have enough to peg any intention on Zhan at that point, the events that unfolded afterwards allowed for a comprehensive case to be built around the student in the following days.
Police: How Syracuse University student was stopped while planning mass shooting https://t.co/CvAtRfNoOD
— syracuse.com (@syracusedotcom) April 5, 2018
That awkward moment when you live the fantasy every parent of mass shooting victim dreams happened. No words for the horror & relief I feel tonight. #MomsDemandAction #Gun ControlNow https://t.co/U41nJxk3Ft
— Kathleen Churchyard (@wisherseries) April 6, 2018
Police were able to put Zhan on a list that prohibited him from being sold firearms after finding that he had sought psychiatric care due to his depression and suicidal thoughts. Days later, while Zhan was vacationing with friends in Mexico, an alarm went off in his apartment, prompting a maintenance worker to enter his apartment with a master key. The worker then found stockpiles of ammunition being stored in the apartment, leading to another call to the police.
BREAKING: Syracuse Police Department has stopped a potential shooting at Syracuse University. A Syracuse student was stockpiling arms and ammunitions to cause "extreme chaos." He was stopped while coming back from spring break by officials and deported back to China. pic.twitter.com/z9axklt6zG
— CitrusTV News (@CitrusTVNews) April 5, 2018
Extremely thankful and blessed that his friends chose to speak up
Police: How Syracuse University student was stopped while planning mass shooting https://t.co/yAypdLsZOt
— SKY (@SKYMilan5) April 6, 2018
Zhan’s visa was revoked by Syracuse University shortly after he returned from his vacation, which allowed authorities to deport him back to China almost immediately in an attempt to thwart yet another mass shooting. Zhan had expressed that his intentions to purchase guns was not for hunting purposes, but rather that he may want to do something extreme in the future. Fortunately, however, prior to being able to carry out any violent intentions he may have had, the vigilance of citizens and authorities in the area were able to put an end to what could have become another common tragedy.
Featured Image Via Twitter